Do you take a multivitamin everyday? Choose beverages with added vitamins? If you answered yes, you may want to rethink your routine. Recent studies have shown that too much of the vitamin, folic acid, may be linked to an increased risk of breast, prostate andcolon cancer.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate, which is necessary for producing healthy red blood cells. So, too little folate can lead to anemia. If you're a woman in your child bearing years, folate is essential for reducing the birth defect spina bifida. For this reason, foods made from refined grains such as breads, pastas and cereals have added folic acid.
If you start your day with a bowl of cereal, take a multivitamin and then grab a vitamin enhanced water after your work-out, you may be getting way more than the 400 micrograms (mcg) needed daily for adults. In fact, outside testing of some popular vitamin waters have shown they contain much greater levels of folic acid than advertised. The truth is, one type was shown to have 1500% more folic acid than shown on the label.
Now the problem only seems to come from an excess of the synthetic form, folic acid. You can eat as much as you want of naturally occurring folate, which is in foods like beans, oranges, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, peas, romaine lettuce and peanuts.
So they next time you're thinking about a vitamin enhanced beverage, or a vitamin pill with more than 100% of your daily needs, you might want to think twice. You could be getting too much of a good thing.